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Vivitar Series 1 800mm f/11 Solid Cat mirror lens


  • this super telephoto lens introduced in mid-1970's is a catadioptric mirror lens, and as with all such mirror lenses, share the following characteristics:
    • manual focus
    • fixed aperture (in this case f/11)
    • virtual elimination of chromatic aberration as uses mirror rather than lenses
      • also means focus position for infrared photography is the same as for light photography
    • central mirror:
      • allows much more compact lens length as the optic path is reflected internally twice
      • by necessity, blocks some of the light and thus causes:
        • decrease in image contrast
        • characteristic “doughnut” shaped bokeh imagery in out of focus areas
  • designed by OPCON Associates, a company founded by Ellis Betensky, who used to be a senior optical designer at Perkin-Elmer
  • their ruggedness is partially due to their solid, one-piece construction, unlike most production mirror lenses


  • 800mm focal length and field of view (3.1°) at infinity focus
  • fixed f/11 aperture
  • lens elements, ? groups, VMC coating
  • closest focus 7m
  • lens cap ?112mm
  • rear filter
    • needs to always be used with a rear filter attached, because the optical design relies on the presence of one more glass element with specific thickness
  • T lens mount thread
  • may not be able to mount on some cameras if the built-in flash of the camera protrudes too far
  • metal hood is only 1“ long
  • 108mm diameter, 84mm long and 1.36kg


photo/vivitar800mmf11.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/18 18:06 by gary1

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